Vladislav Skobelsky, aka Happy, live in Kiev, Ukraine. Happy draws in a mixed technique: analog technology and digital art but also collage, comics, Japanese pop culture, and psychedelic art.
KALTBLUT: Tell us about your creative background – when did you first start illustrating/what really pushed you to do so? Happy: I draw from the very childhood, but I started doing this professionally in 2007, I started with children’s magazines and comics. I always dreamed of going beyond the usual illustrations and drawings, I understand that it is the desire to freely do and combine the favourite directions in one and gave impetus to what I am doing now, at the moment it is a mix. comics, Japanese pop culture, fashion, music, and psychedelia.
KALTBLUT: What medium/tools do you feel most comfortable with when creating your work? Happy: I can use it like real paints and paper, but in most cases, I prefer digital tools for work, photoshop, and so on.
KALTBLUT: What is your working process? Happy: Well, for example, it all starts with an image in the head, it can be inspired by the music heard in the player or just the idea of being heard through the air or for example I was inspired by something from what I saw, anime, a series, a stylishly dressed girl, and immediately an image or composition in my head , then I open Photoshop and start drawing, collaging, looking for what is in my head and when the drawing approximately matches what I saw or even better, I feel it and finish the work and it is ready.
KALTBLUT: The Japanese Pop Culture is very present in your work, when and how did you get the passion for it? Happy: Since childhood, I have loved anime, always loved girls in this style, they were for me the standard of female beauty, so to speak. Japanese pop culture is bold and colorful. It is very close in spirit to me.
KALTBLUT: What are your inspirations? Happy: I am inspired, as mentioned above, from a variety of things, from beautiful girls, anime, video games, and so on. I will say that sometimes there is no inspiration from external factors, but there is a desire to do something, and this is where inner inspiration and motivation appear.
KALTBLUT: What is the message you want to get across to viewers of your work? Happy: Often with my bright works, a mixture of styles and moods of joy that I try to invest, I want to convey to people a world that I draw and feel is not a concrete idea, for example, I want to show pain or joy, no, here is a world that, as I said, lives in many styles, comics, anime, abstraction, fashion, the world, which should tell the viewer that he live brightly and harmoniously, regardless if you think that you are different, because many people, cultures, and religions live on our planet . and not all of them can live in harmony, and disagreements and conflicts will arise. Therefore, in my drawings, I show a harmonious abstract psychedelic world in which harmony and happiness reigns.
KALTBLUT: Your images are really colorful and your nickname is Happy. What is your idea of happiness? Happy: everyone’s happiness is different, someone is happy from sunset, someone is from children and family, happiness is different for everyone, someone bought a new car and realizes that now he can go on the road at any speed anywhere and he is happy too. I think the distinctive features of happiness are when nothing bothers you and you feel the taste of life, a moment that tells you that there is something more than all your problems and you start to believe in miracles.
KALTBLUT: Have you found any other work/artists to be really inspiring currently? Happy: There are a lot of works that I like, it can be just characters or illustrations in comics style, I also love classical painting, now there are a lot of talented people and this is very good.
KALTBLUT: What is your ultimate goal? Happy: This is, of course, a difficult question, but I can answer it with a samurai flavor! My goal is to die happy, so that when I die, I can tell myself, and who will be next to me, that I am really happy that I did what I like is that happy that I could bring positive and harmony to the world of people, and it would be nice to know that my work somehow positively influenced at least one person can inspire him to become an artist, for example, or just smile at a person opposite. But for this, there is still a lot of work and attempts and everything will work out!